Toyota president and CEO Akio Toyoda has been named 2021 World Car Person of the Year by the World Car Awards organisation.
The charismatic Toyota leader beat four other global automotive execs to the top spot thanks to votes from 93 international motoring journalists.
Mr Toyoda succeeds last year’s winner, Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares, in being honoured as someone who has made a significant contribution to the global automotive industry.
“On behalf of all 360,000 Toyota team members around the world, thank you for this tremendous honour!” said Mr Toyoda.
“If you don’t mind, however, I would like to change this award from car ‘person’ of the year to car ‘people’ of the year – because it’s the collective effort of all our global employees, retailers and suppliers that has truly made Toyota what it is today.
“I for one couldn’t be a luckier or more grateful CEO.”
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Under Mr Toyoda’s stewardship, Toyota’s image has been transformed. Long one of the world’s most successful car companies, it is now among the most exciting mainstream brands, producing models such as the GR Yaris, Supra and upcoming new GR 86.
“No more boring cars,” said Mr Toyoda early in his stewardship – and he is proving true to his word.
All the time, as the World Car Awards organisation points out, while actively participating in motorsports himself as a driver.
“Thank you again for this award,” he said, “and to my fellow car lovers, see you on the track!”